Andrew Wiggins Hears All The Bennett Nonsense | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Tuesday / October 19.
  • Andrew Wiggins Hears All The Bennett Nonsense

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    I have no idea where Andrew Wiggins will end up going to college.

    But I do know a few other things.

    When I interviewed him earlier this year after he put up 19 points and 11 rebounds in Huntington Prep’s one-point loss to St. Anthony in the PrimeTime Shootout, he basically said that Kentucky and Florida State were his top two schools.

    Kentucky is Kentucky and both of his parents attended Florida State. His dad is the former NBA player Mitchell Wiggins and his mom is the former Canadian track star Marita Payne-Wiggins.

    In case you haven’t seen him yet, the 6-foot-7 Wiggins may well be the best basketball prospect in North America, or as the venerable Tom Konchalski likes to say, “He might be the best young prospect in the Northern hemisphere.”

    I don’t think it’s a crazy exaggeration to say that Wiggins — the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2014 — could play in the NBA right now.

    Sure, a couple more years of maturity in high school and college will help him turn into a force of nature. But if you threw him into an NBA game right now, he could go get you 8-10 points.

    Now keep in mind that Wiggins — along with a slew of other talented young players — compete with the CIA Bounce AAU team that is currently a perfect 9-0 on the Nike EYBL circuit.

    That team is just loaded.

    Wiggins, Tyler Ennis, Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Isaiah Watkins, Tanveer Bhullar, and so on.

    Just friggin loaded.

    If you are a college basketball coach, or a college basketball fan, it’s in your best interest to know who these guys and, more importantly for the coaches and the schools, to have a positive relationship with them and with head coaches Mike George and Tony McIntyre.

    And oh by the way, Steve Nash was just named GM of the Canadian Senior Men’s Team Tuesday and Canada is loaded with up and coming talent.

    Yet with all the nonsense coming from fans of a couple SEC schools — Florida and Kentucky — after Anthony Bennett trimmed his list to UNLV and Oregon, you have to wonder just what George and Wiggins think of them at this point.

    Actually, you don’t have to wonder at all.

    They’ve said it.

    George Tweeted: “@ABennett24 to KU fans Anthony and @22wiggins are really good friends and come from the same family. U diss 1 you diss all. Bounce family!!”

    Later, he added: “ya my bad already corrected and uk fans know exactly who it was meant for.”

    I understand there are some fans of other schools out there posing as Kentucky fans to make them look bad. I understand only a small minority (we hope) of Kentucky fans inanely and profanely ripped Bennett on Twitter. And I understand fans of other schools like Florida ripped him, too.

    Wiggins declined comment on the matter but he has read all the Tweets. He’s on Twitter, too.

    And while this whole brouhaha will be long settled when he makes his college choice, fans of every college basketball program should think twice going forward.

    If not for the simple reason that these are kids making decisions about sports and simply don’t deserve idiotic spew from people hiding behind Twitter and messageboards.

    But from your point of view, keep in mind that bone-headed Tweets may come back to haunt you when a guy like Andrew Wiggins makes the call.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.